2K Games and Take-Two Interactive have laid out their plans for the next half decade, and it’s a tale of sparse releases interspersed with AAA behemoths. Both 2K Games new president David Ismailer and Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick have been talking up their plans, outlining a target of one AAA title a year, supplemented by the usual yearly outings such as NBA 2K and WWE 2K.
Kicking things off, Zelnick was surprisingly candid about the last year, which by his own admission has been a bit of a letdown. "2K had a really good season this past year, but it was, for the company, still relatively thin. And it didn't help that Battleborn wasn't a big success," said Zelnick. I’d also argue that despite decent sales, Mafia 3 effectively killed the Mafia 3 franchise dead with its lukewarm critical reception. “Which means we can find ourselves in fiscal 2018 with a much thinner schedule than we'd like.
“Obviously fiscal 2019 will look much better with the launch of Red Dead 2 and a huge new title from 2K, as well as the 2K Sports titles, catalogue, recurrent consumer spending, NBA2K Online in China, Social Point and the like,” Zelnick went on to say. Red Dead Redemption 2 is going to be huge for Take-Two, not just next year but the years after too. GTA V and GTA Online just made Rockstar over $1 billion in the last year, for example.
What’s really got our interest piqued though is Zelnick’s allusion to “a huge new title from 2K.” Casting an eye over 2K’s IP; barring the return of BioShock, he must be referring to Borderlands 3. This at least is a game we know for sure is in development, what with Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford trotting out a Borderlands tech demo during GDC back in March. Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel may not have hit in quite the way 2K had hope, but Gearbox has given Borderlands 3 some serious breathing room. 2K Australia was handed production duties on The Pre-Sequel, meaning Gearbox has had up to six years to work on Borderlands 3.
As for Rockstar, Zelnick says “Obviously we know what Rockstar tends to do. And Rockstar’s activities have been transformed by Grand Theft Auto Online.” By that we understand that Rockstar will be renewing its online focus, rather than shying away from it. Red Dead Redemption Online seems like a sure run thing at this point, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see Grand Theft Auto 6 going full-blown multiplayer when it ever arrives.